02 Dec 5 Kleshas
5 Kleshas and how to overcome them
Sage Patanjali mentions the five kleshas in Yoga Sutra 2.3 “Avidya-Asmita-Raga-Dvesha-Abhinivesa-Klesha” responsible for all our suffering in life.
Asmita: I-ness, ego sense
Abhinivesah: fear of death, clinging to life
Klesha: painful, afflicted
Only through proper understanding, we can outgrow our intrinsic afflictions. We are all born with these kleshas. The first step is to understand these kleshas and then putting in an effort to eliminate them. All of these afflictions are tangled together within our egos.
Avidya # Ignorance
Mistaking the impermanent for the permanent for example- We spend so much of time on our outward appearance, and we fail to understand that looks are temporary. Youth is fleeting, yet we want to hold on. Age graciously and accept the fact that change is the only permanent factor in everyone’s life.
Asmita # Ego
Second affliction very few people acknowledge or even admit it. But yes we all have an ego. Next time you find yourself labelling or being defensive I don’t have an ego – Take a deep breath and then settle into your seat and try reflection techniques. Be the witness to your own thought process objectively. Awareness is the first step.
Raga # Attachment
Desires are the root cause of all our sufferings. We attached to our children, family, spouse, food, smartphones…list is endless. Moderation and balance is the key that helps to overcome this affliction. Your needs and desires should be in check.
Dvesha # Aversion
“I don’t like this food, colour, relative…etc.” Dveshas are strong dislikes or avoidance. We do this because we do not like stepping out of our comfort zone, but we fail to notice the tremendous growth opportunity it brings with it. Best way to step aside aversion is to challenge yourself to face uncomfortable situations in life rather than avoiding them. Example- I use to avoid this aunty because she would gossip a lot whenever she came to my house. One day decided to face her. This time I was prepared took following measures
Table set with foods items she liked, but I made it a point to include more chewy foods so she can be quiet and chew food for some time.
All gossip remarks were cut short with three questions; “Is it true?; Is it good?; Is it useful?“
Abhinivesha # fear of death
The fear of death or a clinging to life reduces your focus and inhibits with your ability to experience the spiritual autonomy that is the goal of yoga. If you start living each day of your life as if it were your last and then you can overcome this fear of death or Abhinivesha. Start the day with a priority list and complete things that are important. Be easy on yourself and gentle towards people you love.
All these kleshas are derived from ignorance, and the practice of yoga awakens the awareness that is innate. Ignorance cannot survive in the light of consciousness which is a requisite for spiritual advancement.
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